Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that the climate crisis will be worse than the coronavirus pandemic and that Democrats are ready to respond with "big, bold action" unlike anything the U.S. and "this world has ever seen before."
During a press conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., demanding climate action on Capitol Hill, Schumer said the country was at a "pivotal moment" to address climate change with Democrats now in power.
"This is a unique opportunity," he said. "We are surrounded by evidence of the climate crisis — the fires out West, the heat waves, the floods — everywhere you look.
"Because of global warming, things are getting worse and worse. And I tell my constituents in New York: COVID was horrible, but if we do nothing on climate, starting within a few short years from now, each year will be worse than COVID, and each year will be worse than the previous year."
"We know that we can’t let this moment pass us by," he continued.
"It’s our time to act. And as majority leader, I have made it clear I will not pass an infrastructure package that does not reduce carbon pollution on a scale commensurate with the urgency of the climate crisis that we face. Plain and simple. And that’s what Democrats intend to do."
Schumer pointed to the climate and environmental justice provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure deal reached in the Senate and the Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.
"Everyone knows the crisis," he added. "It’s only people with their head in the sand or some of our Republican colleagues who are in the palm of the oil, gas and coal industry who don’t realize it or don’t want to realize it."